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MGM facing backlash over lawsuit against mass shooting victims |

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MGM facing backlash over lawsuit against mass shooting victims

MGM Resorts is facing backlash over its decision to file a lawsuit against the victims of the mass shooting at the Route 91 Harvest Festival on Oct. 1.

The social media movement against MGM has gained steam and could end up costing the company in more ways than one.

MGM is citing a 2002 law known as the Safety Act which was passed in the aftermath of the Sept. 11 attacks. The law protects companies when a terrorist attack or incident of mass violence occurs if they use security services certified by the Department of Homeland Security.

The security company CSC that it hired for the concert was certified under the Safety Act.

Brian Claypool is an attorney representing more than 75 survivors and is a survivor of 1 October. He was in the front row of the Route 91 Harvest Festival when gunfire broke out. He argues the Safety Act doesn't protect MGM because Paddock wasn't a member of ISIS or Al Qaeda or any other organized terrorist group.

"They are only immunized from liability if there is an act of terrorism," said Brian Claypool, victims' attorney.

Terrorism is defined in the Safety Act and that definition is broad. It states, in part that... the term ''terrorism'' means any activity that appears to be intended to intimidate or coerce a civilian population; to influence the policy of a government by intimidation or coercion; or to affect the conduct of a government by mass destruction, assassination, or kidnapping.

MGM was responsible for security at the Mandalay Bay hotel where Paddock was staying and was able to bring in thousands of rounds of ammunition and weaponry.

Whether or not MGM is able to move this matter to federal court. It is definitely taking a hit in the public relations department.

CBS news' legal analyst says this may be a smart legal move but it doesn't look good for the company.

"If you make the public think that you're suing people, or their families who are dead or seriously injured, to me that's a PR nightmare," said Rikki Klieman, CBS news legal analyst.

In fact, #BoycottMGM is taking off on social media. There is also a Care2 petition to gather 10,000 signatures to try to convince Cirque du Soleil to remove all of its shows from MGM properties in solidarity with 1 October victims.

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